Spiced Plum and Chestnut Roulade

One of our favourite puddings for special parties and events — easy for when you’re feeding lots of people. Through the autumn and winter, and over Christmas, this is great stuffed with spiced plums and chestnuts. 

For 8

For the roasted plums:

  • 400g plums
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange 
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into two
  • A few juniper berries
  • 50g dark brown sugar

For the roulade

  • Sunflower oil, for the tin
  • 6 egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 50g flaked almonds or pistachios
  • 350ml double cream
  • 400g spiced roast plums 
  • 2-3 tablespoons of halved, peeled chestnuts 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. 

Halve the plums, removing the stones. Put into an ovenproof dish and add the orange and lemon zest, bay leaves, cinnamon, juniper berries and sugar, and pour over the orange juice. Bake in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes, until the plums are tender. Allow to cool.

Turn the oven up to 200°C /gas mark 6. 

Line a Swiss roll baking tin (or any shallow baking tray) with greaseproof paper and brush with a trace of sunflower oil.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until very stiff. Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time and whisking between each spoonful. Once all the sugar has been added, continue whisking until the mixture is very thick and glossy.

Spread this meringue mixture into the prepared tin and scatter with flaked almonds or pistachios. Place the tin fairly near the top of the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 160°C /gas mark 3 and bake until golden brown. Don’t cook the meringue too long, or else it will be difficult to roll up. 

Remove it from the oven and turn it nut side down on to a sheet of greaseproof paper. Peel off the paper from the base of the cooked meringue and allow to cool for half an hour or so.

Whisk the cream until it stands in stiff peaks. Spread the cream evenly over the meringue and scatter with spiced plums and chestnuts. 

Letting the greaseproof paper help you, roll the long side fairly tightly until it is all rolled up like a roulade. 

Wrap in non-stick baking paper and chill before serving with some extra fruit and chestnuts.